Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in mind.
4 Against you, you alone, I have sinned, I have done what you see to be wrong, that you may show your saving justice when you pass sentence, and your victory may appear when you give judgement,
5 remember, I was born guilty, a sinner from the moment of conception.
6 But you delight in sincerity of heart, and in secret you teach me wisdom.
12 Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a generous spirit.
13 I shall teach the wicked your paths, and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, God, God of my salvation, and my tongue will acclaim your saving justice.
17 Sacrifice to God is a broken spirit, a broken, contrite heart you never scorn.
Upon hearing today’s Responsorial Psalm, not only am I reminded of every sin I have committed against our Lord, but the amount of repentance that is needed to ensure my Lord is pleased with the changes in my heart. Most of my life had been spent in the state of mortal sin, and as I travel up the path to eternal life, into His arms, I must spend every waking hour I am still here, doing everything now, for Him.HE will not remember the sins I have committed because of the sacrament of confession, but I do. Not to hold on to them for enjoyment, but as a constant reminder of where I was, and now were I am trying to get to.
Before my conversion began, I had this strange idea that even with my mortal sins not repented for completely, He would just forgive me anyway and when I died, in that state, I would just go to heaven anyway. After all, He loved everyone. When I look at who I was, and the life I was leading, only now I can’t help but to be overcome with utter disgust at how I treated our Lord. I look at the person I used to be and think, I would never want that person I was in heaven. I did nothing for Him and everything for self. I took Him for granted.
I think of all the things I have said, thought and done, and not done. How many times I have said “I hate” so and so. How many times I have said so and so needs to die. How many times I have said so and so country should be blown off the map. How many times I have walked past a homeless person and wouldn’t even look them in the eye. Or the ones I never even noticed. Good Lord, have mercy on me. I know not what I do.
When troubles and suffering come into my life now, I know in my heart, they are deserved for reparation to our Lord. I do not despair over them, I embrace them as God’s mercy. He could make my suffering in this world much worse. Deservedly so.
The Baltimore Catechism Part 3
Q. 629. What punishments are due to actual sins? A. Two punishments are due to actual sins: one, called the eternal, is inflicted in hell; and the other, called the temporal, is inflicted in this world or in purgatory. The Sacrament of Penance remits or frees us from the eternal punishment and generally only from part of the temporal. Prayer, good works and indulgences in this world and the sufferings of purgatory in the next remit the remainder of the temporal punishment.
Q. 804. Why does God require a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin? A. God requires a temporal punishment as a satisfaction for sin to teach us the great evil of sin and to prevent us from falling again.
Q. 805. Which are the chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin? A. The chief means by which we satisfy God for the temporal punishment due to sin are: Prayer, Fasting, Almsgiving; all spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and the patient suffering of the ills of life.